Moderators announced for presidential debates

The presidential debates between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will be moderated by journalists from Fox News, C-SPAN and NBC, with CNN being shut out of the debates for the first time since 2008, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday

Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, who has angered some Republicans for his pointed questioning of Trump and White House officials, will moderate the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29. 

The second debate, which will be town-hall style, will be moderated by C-SPAN’s Steve Scully in Miami on Oct. 15.

The third and final presidential debate will be moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC and will take place in Nashville on Oct. 22. 

There will be one vice presidential debate between Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), which will be moderated by USA Today’s Susan Page and will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Oct. 7.

“We are grateful to these experienced journalists, who will help ensure that the general election presidential debates continue to serve their unique educational purpose of helping the public learn about the candidates,” the commission said in a statement. “Each individual brings great professionalism to moderating and understands that the purpose of the 2020 debate formats is to facilitate in-depth discussion of major topics.” 

The Trump campaign has been pressuring the commission to add an additional debate earlier in September, saying that voters casting their ballots earlier than usual through the mail because of the coronavirus should hear from the candidates before they vote.

The Biden campaign has said it will only commit to the originally agreed upon three debates.

Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani also sought to pressure the commission to choose from a list of moderators he believed would be unbiased. 

None of Giuliani’s suggestions made the final cut.

However, the commission did not select any moderators from CNN, which has clashed with Trump and been the target of his attacks. 

CNN’s Anderson Cooper moderated a 2016 debate between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. In 2012, CNN’s Candy Crowley infuriated Republicans by correcting one of Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s claims in real time. Crowley said later that Romney was “right in the main” but “picked the wrong word.”

Conservatives will be closely watching Wallace’s moderation of the first debate. He also moderated a 2016 debate between Trump and Clinton.

Wallace has angered some on the right, who believe he has been too hard on Trump and the Republicans. He was praised by many in the mainstream media for his combative interview of Trump earlier this month.

Updated at 12:35 p.m.

Tags 2020 presidential debates Chris Wallace debates Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Kamala Harris Mitt Romney Rudy Giuliani United States presidential debates

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